Faith for Beginners

Faith for Beginners An acclaimed short story writer has created a miraculous first novel about an American family on the verge of a breakdown and an epiphany In the summer of Israel teeters between total war and to

  • Title: Faith for Beginners
  • Author: Aaron Hamburger
  • ISBN: 9780812973204
  • Page: 495
  • Format: Paperback
  • An acclaimed short story writer has created a miraculous first novel about an American family on the verge of a breakdown and an epiphany.In the summer of 2000, Israel teeters between total war and total peace Similarly on edge, Helen Michaelson, a respectable suburban housewife from Michigan, has brought her ailing husband and rebellious college age son, Jeremy, to JerusAn acclaimed short story writer has created a miraculous first novel about an American family on the verge of a breakdown and an epiphany.In the summer of 2000, Israel teeters between total war and total peace Similarly on edge, Helen Michaelson, a respectable suburban housewife from Michigan, has brought her ailing husband and rebellious college age son, Jeremy, to Jerusalem She hopes the journey will inspire Jeremy to reconnect with his faith and find meaning in his life or at least get rid of his nose ring.It s not that Helen is concerned about Jeremy s sexual orientation after all, her other son is gay as well It s merely the matter of the overdose Just like Liza Jeremy had told her , the green hair, and what looks like a safety pin stuck through his face After therapy, unconditional love, and tough love why not try Israel Yet in seductive and dangerous surroundings, with the rumbling of violence and change in the air, in a part of the world where there are no modern times, mother and son become new, old, and surprising versions of themselves.Funny, erotic, searingly insightful, and profoundly moving, Faith for Beginners is a stunning debut novel from a vibrant new voice in fiction.From the Hardcover edition.

    One thought on “Faith for Beginners”

    1. Found the characters down to earth, well developed, believable. Enjoyed learning a little about Israel through the eyes of a Midwestern family as tourists. Laugh out loud satire at times, and other times painful and yet funny, like when someone trips and falls, but they are okay. In this book, the characters trip up often, but you can laugh with them because you feel they will be okay in the end.

    2. At first this book went really slow and I had a hard time catching its rhythm, but as I got it I grew to really like it. I really got into it although I felt detached somewhat from the characters, but I thought that you would get to know them better. However, you didn't. To me it felt disconnected and like a skipping record. There wasn't any impacting change in the main characters. The ended left much to be desired. I actually thought there was to be some big revelation and that is why the chapt [...]

    3. Awful and more awful and little to redeem it; it's a complete mess. A middle-aged Jewish couple take their troubled, gay son on a tour of Israel. As disaffected and destructive as is their son, the parents have double the history of controlling, repressive and neurotic behaviors. The frequent and explicit episodes of joyless sex are grimly crude, characterized by frantic explosions of semen abundantly shared, showered and smeared. The characters are two-dimensional and, as the plot progresses, t [...]

    4. I am torn between 2 and 3 stars. I liked the premise of this book: a woman takes her husband and her gay son to Israel to connect with their roots, despite everyones disinterest in the trip. But, the political points and messages get a little obvious and heavy-handed in some parts, and some of the metaphors and such were contrived. I mean, his mother had a whole sequence at the end of walking through a tunnele on But, what I did like was some of the nice character development, the Michigan refer [...]

    5. This novel manages to funny, enlightening and thought provoking in just the right balance. The plot is simple - a mother hoping to salvage her relationship with her just barely adult son books them and her dieing husband on a vacation to that place so well known for peace and tolerance - Jerusalem. They tour the sights, discover what faith and religion are really about, and in the end, discover that families are a lot like the Middle East conflict: getting along comes down to the people, not ide [...]

    6. It's a well-written book. The characters -- Mr and Mrs Michaelson and 20-something son, Jeremy -- are realistic and the family dynamics true. However, the characters are a kind I find tedious in the extreme in real life, the the family they've created just the sort of unit I avoid whenever possible, so it's hardly surprising I didn't enjoy the book. Ironically, my antipathy is a credit to the author's skill; had they been poorly drawn I doubt I'd have done more than toss the book aside. As it wa [...]

    7. This was a a great book. Really thought provoking and interesting characters. I hate to admit it though I but I've re-read the ending several times and I'm not sure I get it. I absolutely thought that Mrs. Michaelson was about as perfectly realized, multi-dimensional as a character can be. This book is just so multi-layered. The political issues that are handled are complex alone, not to mention the relationship of the three Michaelsons. Please read this book. And I'd love to hear what others th [...]

    8. This book was hard for me to first get into. It revolves around a Jewish family who visits Israel. I felt it was more about the Mother in the story finding herself, then her gay son. For me, its not something I would recommend. I was disappointed but still would mention it if someone were interested.

    9. On Friday, I found this novel at the public library and gobbled it up! His characters live and breathe and Hamburger also has an uncanny way of evoking a sense of place (in this case, Jerusalem). I'm heading back today to find his collection of stories,The View from Stalin's Head.

    10. I almost didn't make it but at my 100 page rule it started to hold my interest. Was a diversion from my norm, but a worthwhile read.

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